Just for the record.

Dear Eliot,

Since this incident is the stuff that family lore is made of, I thought I'd better record the pertinent details so that they can't be exagerrated, stretched, blown out of context, and otherwise used against me for the rest of my life.

Yes, in this month of February, the year 2008, I dropped you on the floor. I didn't mean to. I'm very sorry.

We were sitting on the couch, you on my lap, and I was struggling to pull up one of your tiny little socks that had slipped almost entirely off and was dangling from your toes. (See, I was trying to keep your feet warm, because I love you and would never do anything to intentionally harm you. OH, the GUILT, the GUILT!!!) I had one arm around you and I was using both hands to try to tug the sock back on. And you arched backwards with no warning, and in a split second you had flipped end over end, out of my arms, off the couch, and onto the floor. It was maybe a fourteen inch drop, at most. And you laid there on your back with your face puckered and started to howl.

And your daddy jumped off the other couch where he had been sitting and scooped you up off the floor and held you close to his chest and patted your back and tried to console you, all while glaring at me like he might tear my arm off and beat me with it. He yelled WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING???

Duh. Isn't it obvious? I got mad at the baby, so I threw him on the floor. This is what I was thinking, but didn't say. I would never say that, Eliot, even in jest. Your momma would never say such a thing.

I struggled for a moment to know whether to laugh or cry. Because honestly, you were fine. You were okay. But watching your dad check you over for bumps, bruises, or broken bones, acting like a savage momma bear all the while...it was just about too much. All at once I knew, in a way I really hadn't known before, that your dad would do anything in the world for you. He loves you every bit as ferociously as I do. He would fight to the death anyone who ever tried to harm a hair on your precious head, me included.

But twelve or so years from now, when he starts up with the "Remember that time Mom threw you on the floor...?" stories, please don't believe him. I swear to you, it was fourteen inches, not four feet. I wasn't angry. I wasn't drunk. I was just trying to put your sock back on. So whatever Daddy says, don't you believe him.

That man may love you, but he's a dirty rotten liar.


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